Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lingering Thoughts of Memorial Day

I have an innate sense of discomfort at all national holidays--mostly because I feel like I'm being told what to believe and how to respond to the events which the holidays celebrate. Point in case: Memorial Day.

Yes, it is about remembering those who gave their all in war --but first let's get real. Memorial Day was invented to remember Union soldiers (only), and it wasn't until after World War I that the holiday was expanded to included all the dead in all the wars.... All well and good, I suppose. But I hate war, and for me, honoring those who employ the means of force and death just runs against my grain.

My way out on Memorial Day? --I pray for those war dead, yes; but I pray for them in the suffering they endured and I pray for their conversion to peace.

I have heard a lot these days about supporting the troops. The best I can do is pray for them in the suffering they endure, and I pray for their conversion to peace.

I whole heartedly believe that war is never the best we can do, nor is it honorable. If we spent as much time, money and energy on finding resolutions through other means than war, I believe we could find them. Naive? Stupid? Wishful thinking? No, I call it Gospel thinking. And, yes, it would come at great cost. And most often, Gospel thinking calls for the same surrender Jesus discovered in the garden, on the cross, and in the tomb. Can't be done, you say? --Think again....

As to this current war --the statistics are touting more than 4,000 dead. That's bad enough. But, that only counts military-in-Iraq-dead. There are more than 500 dead from non-military contract company employees, and then there's the journalists, and our allies, and then, of course, there's Afghanistan.... and that's not counting the locals.

So, it's Memorial Day. Where is the holiday when we give thanks for all the conscientious objectors? I'm glad we had a baptism at church this past Sunday. We prayed for the war dead at the 8am service, but gave glory to God and increased the Body of Christ at the later service. Thanks be to God.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Anglican Covenant--A too late pre-nup

It is an understatement to say that the Anglican Communion has been under a bit of duress lately. Most of the duress has focused on the consecration of +Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire and the place of gays and lesbians and their loving relationships in the Church at large. From where I sit, the Church at large has behaved shamefully through the whole mess. But there is one thing I have taken notice of, because I believe it will go right to the root of being part of the Anglican Communion and an Episcopalian—and this is the proposed Covenant which is being mulled about.

The proposed Covenant (currently called the St. Andrew’s Draft) calls for a statement which will delineate how the various parts of the Communion are to relate to one another, and what to do and how to do it if a part of the Communion seemingly violates the relationship. It has been proposed as a means to resolve how we deal with issues such as those in our present circumstance.

In all respects, the idea of a Covenant is totally foreign to the Anglican Communion –we have never claimed to be an international or even national church, we have never had a confession or covenant as the basis for our hanging out and eating with each other. We have always and only been a Communion of autonomous churches (dioceses)—we continue to hang out with each other and serve together in mission because we eat bread and wine together with the Archbishop of Canterbury in Christ’s name.

Frankly, the idea of a Covenant after several hundred years as a Communion seems to me to be kind of like asking for a pre-nuptial agreement after several decades of marriage. And, I don’t see any way in its current configuration that the Covenant doesn’t destroy our celebrated diversity as a communion, and engulf each autonomous church into a subservient position to an international church board largely ruled by clergy—mostly bishops. A very sad state of affairs. But maybe I’m wrong…..I hope so.

last night

Even the trees lost their color last night

in the morning
reflection in the large store window.
behind it fake christmas snow
fake cottony snowmen skating on
fake mirror ice.
spent life
in a world without snow.

Three windows down
seeing us bundled in the cold and disfigured in the window light
I remember pointing at the red glass bowl
fire hope kisses passion eye type red
the only color. ever.
there she is I wanted to say.
she likes glass. red.
But I knew she was not.

My mother died last night.

the garden path

In the garden
between the falling water
the machine
the kiss of the dog
the mint
the fountain always runs empty.
Even the rain cannot keep it full.

that dream
over the little swell of roots
in the garden path
and growing things
he comes to tell me he is okay—that all will be well

so what is it
besides empty fountains
machines, the kiss of the dog and rain
that makes me pant and groan like a lover and ask for more

is the tomb really empty I ask

the tip of the tongue tastes only sugar
or is it salt